Hat trick for Danielsson!
Alx Danielsson (Comtec Racing) today became the first driver to win three consecutive World Series Formula Renault 3.5 races. The Swedish driver was joined on the podium by Milos Pavlovic (Draco Multiracing USA) and Christian Montanari (Prema Powerteam).
All the teams opted for slick tyres, but a few drops of rain fell at the start of the warm-up lap, casting doubt into the minds of the drivers. Starting from the far side of the track, Tristan Gommendy mistimed his start. In contrast, Alx Danielsson got away well and raced into the first corner in the lead, ahead of Milos Pavlovic. Patrick Pilet also made a smooth start, but ran wide into the gravel at the chicane, as did several other drivers.
With one lap gone, Danielsson led the way, followed by Pavlovic, Montanari (Prema), Miguez (Comtec), Kerr (KTR), Pilet (Tech 1), Fukuda (Tech 1), Kane (Epsilon), Soucek (Interwetten) and Gommendy (Pons).
Kerr and Pilet overtook Miguez on lap two. While putting Fukuda under pressure, Steven Kane span at the 'Musee' corner. Fortunately, the drivers behind managed to avoid running into him. Damon Hill's protege was able to rejoin the race and successfully went after the fastest race lap.
At the front, Danielsson and Pavlovic moved clear. Montanari was holding off Kerr, who in turn had put some distance between himself and the trio of Pilet, Miguez and Fukuda.
At the half-way stage, Alx Danielsson was still the race leader with over a two second lead on Milos Pavlovic. Christian Montanari was lapping on his own, while Robbie Kerr was moving further and further clear of Patrick Pilet. Pastor Maldonado and Davide Valsecchi collided whilst battling it out for 19th place, leaving the Venezuelan in the gravel trap and bringing his race to a premature end. Another serious blow for one the contenders for the title.
Ryo Fukuda, who had been holding firm in seventh, also ended his race in the gravel trap, with three laps to go. In the top 10, Soucek, Gommendy, Parente and McIntosh all moved up an extra place.
On the last lap, Parente fell back to twelfth, allowing Ben Hanley (Cram Competition) to grab the point awarded to the tenth-placed driver. Borja Garcia (RC Motorsport) finished just outside the top 10, his chances of winning the title becoming just that bit slimmer.
Alx Danielsson: "Three wins and a runner-up spot in the last four races -- it's fantastic! The car is so easy to drive that it is not too hard for me. You have to remember this is the first year Comtec Racing has competed in this category. Our earlier misfortune appears to be behind us."
Milos Pavlovic: "Things have just got better and better since I teamed up with Draco. I am trying to be consistent and not make mistakes. I keep racking up the podium finishes."
Christian Montanari: "What a great day! I didn't do that well in qualifying and the race was difficult but this third 2006 podium spot is a good result for us."
Note: The overall standings no longer take into account the result of race one in Zolder, which has been declared void by the RACB Sports Tribunal. An appeal against this decision has been lodged with the FIA.